My New "Ride"

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H5 Digital Still camera – The Tasty Island’s new window to the world

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know I like to provide plenty of photos that detail all the food and places I write about. All for your viewing pleasure of course!

Bright and sharp 3″ TFT LCD 230,000 pixel screen

I’m not quite ready to dive into DSLR land yet, so instead made an incremental upgrade from my trusty entry-level Canon A510 Powershot point-and-shooter to a Sony DSC-H5 Cyber-shot Ultrazoom 7.2 megapixel model, which I got at a really good price, slightly used on eBay.  It’s in mint, like-new condition. The guy who sold it to me also bundled in a camera bag, a Sony battery charger with four Sony 2500mAh NiMH batteries and a 1 Gig Memory Stick Pro Duo card. Sweet! Good to go right outta’ the box.

During the time of its release in 2006, this was their flagship Ultrazoom model with an MSRP of $475, so I’m confident in its feature set.

Best of all, after doing several tests with it around the house, I’m happy to report the image results look fantastic!

For my needs, I didn’t necessarily need the 10x optical zoom it has, but I’m sure it’ll come in handy down the road at some time. My primary criteria was that it have the ability to shoot at at a higher ISO with minimal noise, as I’ll be taking plenty of shots inside dark restaurants, in some cases without the use of the flash. The H5 also has optical image stabilization, which will surely save many shots from being ruined by the shakes. Now I can drink more coffee without worry of taking blurry pictures. lol

I also like that it uses AA batteries instead of the proprietary type, as AAs are much cheaper and can be bought at just about any store. Of course, I use rechargeable NiMH cells, which last much longer than disposable Alkalines and are way cheaper in the long run. Some said the battery life isn’t that great on this model, as it only uses two cells, but I found it lasted comparably to my Canon A510. The flash also recharges within a few seconds, which is contrary  to what some reviewers complained about. I found it a non-issue.

It does really great video as well at 30fps, including the use of its long optical zoom, so perhaps in a future write-up I’ll include YouTube clips of my food-ventures!

It looks really slick in black too, and has a DSLR feel to it, with a comfortable grip. If there’s one thing I’d change is to move the zoom lever from the back to the front on a ring around the shutter like how the Canons are. It’ll just take some getting used to. It’s nicely built with a good heft thanks in part to that huge Carl Zeiss glass lens and a feel of quality about it.

I really wanted the Panasonic DMC-FZ50, but the noise issues on that model, and its predecessor, the FZ30 had me a bit concerned. Also, the bidders on eBay continue to snipe that model, raising the closing bid price to almost as much as an entry level DSLR. Lose money. lol

My next camera after this will almost certainly be a DSLR. Probably a used Pentax K100D. I like that that model also uses AA batteries (rare on DSLRs), and that the image stabilization is in the body, not the lens. Favorable reviews on that model as well.

Here’s a couple macros I took this morning with the H5 of some Japanese baked goods…

The colors are accurate to how it appears real-time, and the detail is sharp and crisp.

Here’s a few reviews of the Sony DSC-H5…

DCRP Review: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H5
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H5 Review by Digital Photography Review
Steves Digicams – Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H5


9 thoughts on “My New "Ride"

  1. I do not know much at all of camera and need one to for meeting. Instead of going to location for the meeting have it in my home and my committee see it in their homes. It for the Chinese New Year Parade I been doing . I in charge of costumes and more relaxing doing meeting at home.

  2. Congrats on your new score! The details in your two photos are amazing — I can see the spongy texture of the cake.

    So I guess this means your food photos now will torture me even more, huh? 🙂

  3. Not sure of cameras myself and wonder for camcorders which one is best for me in traveling. Like to record well with good sound and pictures to put into my file for friends to see.

  4. Kimo, if sound, and movie mode is an important feature to you, I can’t think of a better model than the Canon S3 IS or S5 IS, the rival to the model I got. Those models are the only two still cameras I can think of that does stereo audio recording, and arguably the best of the rest in the “bridge still/video cam” category. Plus you get a long zoom and optical image stabilazation (a must-have feature nowadays), which will certainly come in handy when taking photos of the various landmarks in your travels.

    The only thing is, these ultrazoom cameras won’t fit in your pocket. If that’s a factor, just about most compact point ‘n shoot models nowadays offer a decent movie mode, albeit with mono recording and limited or non-zooming lens when in that mode.

    Contrary to me getting a Sony and considering a Pentax DSLR, if I were to recommend one brand, I’d say go with Canon. You really can’t go wrong with just about any model made by them.

    There’s plenty of sweet deals to be had over at eBay.

  5. I had the first version of this camera that Sony made. It really got me back into photography. You will find the swingout LCD screen to be a real benefit, especially for the kind of work you do.

    BTW, I really appreciate your blog and review effort. You seem to be the only Hawaii food blog that keeps on pumping out the reviews.

    Thank you!

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